Politics & Government

California judge orders back pay for furloughed workers

An Alameda County judge Thursday ordered back pay for tens of thousands of state workers he has said were illegally furloughed because they work in departments funded outside the general fund.

Judge Frank Roesch ordered the state to "immediately pay all employees of respondent departments and agencies their full salary without any reductions ... and cease and desist the furlough of such employees."

The order, if upheld on appeal, would cost the state untold millions of dollars it thought it had saved by instituting furloughs a year ago.

The judge's order affects employees in nearly 70 departments that receive all or most of their budget money from sources other than the state's general fund. Roesch said the order should apply to workers in those departments regardless of their union affiliation. Representatives of SEIU Local 1000 said the back pay order would apply to about 53,000 workers the union represents.

Schwarzenegger has said the administration would appeal Roesch's original Dec. 31 ruling.